11 stops for a royal street journey round Montecito and Santa Barbara

While the village of Montecito gained notoriety when Oprah and Ellen moved to the realm years in the past, curiosity about this rich enclave skyrocketed since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made it their residence a number of years in the past. The royal couple is claimed to have chosen Montecito due to its small-town really feel but shut proximity to Los Angeles, which is about 90 miles south. It doesn’t harm that many of the mansions dotting the hillside of the Santa Ynez Mountains embody gorgeous views of the Pacific.

But Montecito is a lot greater than that. For anybody planning a (royal) street journey up the Pacific Coast Highway, listed below are some spots to take a look at if you wish to dwell like a royal in Montecito and neighboring Santa Barbara, a few of which have been patronized by the (former) royals themselves.

Where to remain

El Encanto, A Belmond Property, Santa Barbara

Spanish Colonial structure at El Encanto — Photo courtesy of El Encanto, A Belmon Property

Set in what was way back dubbed the American Riviera as a result of its spectacular hillside coastal views (just like these alongside the French Riviera), El Encanto is a number of miles north of Montecito, previous the historic Mission Santa Barbara. Spanish Colonial Revival and Craftsman rooms, suites and bungalows are set amongst seven acres that overlook the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara Pier.

The property has been reinventing itself for over 100 years, most lately as a wellness vacation spot. The Spa at El Encanto options seven remedy rooms that embody the choice to obtain a therapeutic massage or facial whereas mendacity on an infrared mat designed to align with the physique’s seven chakras. Guests are additionally invited to take part in a complimentary weekly sound bathtub meditation with native skilled, Cristy Candler.

San Ysidro Ranch

The Honeysuckle Cottage at San Ysidro RanchThe Honeysuckle Cottage at San Ysidro Ranch — Photo courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch

Feeling royal shall be straightforward for anybody checking into this magical resort positioned a number of miles from Harry and Meghan’s residence base. Thirty-eight cottage suites alongside the banks of San Ysidro Creek and the resort’s 550 acres are surrounded by the luxurious wildlife within the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The property has checked in a formidable roster of company over its 129-year historical past, together with Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx and Jackie and John F. Kennedy who honeymooned within the now aptly named Kennedy Cottage.

The resort’s restaurant, the Stonehouse, and the extra relaxed Plow & Angel Pub are additionally stated to be favorites amongst notable names resembling Julia Child, who referred to as Montecito residence. The Stonehouse has additionally been named a Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning restaurant as its barrel-vaulted wine cellar homes 12,000 bottles, together with a 120-bottle full vertical of Pomerol’s Château Pétrus with vintages relationship again to 1945.

The Stonehouse terrace at San Ysidro RanchThe Stonehouse terrace at San Ysidro Ranch — Photo courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch

For unmatched personal eating, company can ebook dinner within the Old Adobe – a historic landmark relationship to 1825 – or within the soon-to-be-completed eating room being constructed adjoining to the wine cellar. Also notable: San Ysidro Ranch is believed to be the one resort within the nation that gives an electrical automobile charging station for each cottage.

Palihouse Santa Barbara

Palihouse Santa BarbaraPalihouse Santa Barbara — Photo courtesy of Palisociety

For those that are occupied with trying out the realm however are looking for a extra central location, look no additional than Palihouse Santa Barbara. This charming two-story boutique property is positioned within the Presidio neighborhood, a number of blocks from Santa Barbara’s pedestrian and procuring areas.

Dripping with gentle, earthy-tone furnishings, most of the rooms are like tiny flats full with a fire, SMEG fridge and Insta-worthy loos with deep soaking tubs. Amenities embody Linus bicycles out there to be used by company at no cost, free underground parking and quite a lot of treats for pets as a part of their “Pawlisociety.”

Where to eat

The Lark

The LarkThe Lark — Photo courtesy of Collin Dewell

A bit of hen could have talked about that Harry & Meghan as soon as dined in a non-public eating room at this stylish restaurant that was as soon as a fish-packing plant. In the guts of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone arts district, Executive Chef Jason Paluska is plating up revolutionary dishes which can be served household type in an area that feels each industrial and intelligent.

The restaurant is known as for an in a single day Pullman practice that serviced Santa Barbara from the early to mid-1900s, and the cocktail menu performs off this with drinks such because the Twisted Trails (guava, lime, Dolin dry vermouth, Ypioca cachaça and glowing wine). The menu has loads of choices for each vegetarians and carnivores alike, together with crispy Brussels sprouts with dates, sesame, garum and lime, in addition to pork ribs with caramelized peach and black pepper glaze with citrus pickled fennel and pollen.


Don’t be fooled by the strip mall look of the Montecito Country Mart as a result of, even though the very first thing individuals see is the retro Vons grocery store, there are plenty of treasures to be found on this procuring heart the place Meghan Markle has been noticed occasionally. One of these treasures is Bettina, an artisan pizzeria (with a Bib Gourmand designation from the Michelin information) that makes a speciality of naturally leavened, rustic wood-fired pizzas utilizing components sourced immediately from native farmers.

Pizzas embody a stellar prosciutto di Parma speckled with olives, rosemary, garlic and chili oil, and the Root’s corn pizza with pork ‘nduja, mozzarella, goat cheddar and walla walla onions. Not into pizza? Try the cacio e pepe arancini or the domestically caught crudo. Menu gadgets additionally embody choices for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners.

Finch & Fork

Colorful crudo at Finch & ForkColorful crudo at Finch & Fork — Photo courtesy of Steve Legato

On the principle ground of the Kimpton Canary Hotel is the lately revamped Finch & Fork the place the informal ambiance could give a false sense of easy, informal delicacies. Instead, Executive Chef Craig Riker has taken conventional dishes and given them a whimsical and polished spin, such because the F&F deviled eggs which arrive wanting like they’ve been sunning themselves. A coral pink-tinted egg white (that’s from the beet marinade) is topped with a creamy filling and pickled shallots, Cajun maple pork stomach and a sprinkle of chives making a pleasantly balanced occasion within the mouth.

The seared diver scallops sit on a mattress of deep inexperienced Acquerello risotto with serrano ham, artichokes and grana padano cheese. This undoubtedly isn’t your grandma’s lodge foyer restaurant – until your grandma is a complicated foodie.

Things to do

Hiking and biking

Mad Dogs & Englishmen bike shopMad Dogs & Englishmen bike store — Photo courtesy of Wendy O’Dea

Given the temperate local weather and gorgeous great thing about the area, it’s no shock that Santa Barbara has limitless choices of out of doors actions. In addition to miles and miles of mountaineering trails – each within the mountains and alongside the coast – there may be additionally a paved (and comparatively flat) bike path that stretches from Montecito north alongside Butterfly Beach and the Santa Barbara coast.

On Montecito’s Coast Village Road, the bike store Mad Dogs & Englishmen rents out quite a lot of bicycles, together with e-bikes which may also help energy anybody up by the hills and previous the mansions of millionaires. There are additionally some pristine and difficult mountaineering trails within the foothills, together with the Inspiration Point and Gibraltar trails.

Museum life

Though Santa Barbara is a comparatively small metropolis, it has a formidable array of cultural actions, together with a lineup of museums that appeals to individuals of all ages – maybe another excuse why Harry and Meghan selected the realm for his or her rising household.

These embody the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and its seasonal Butterflies Alive exhibit (a favourite of Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, who additionally dwell within the space), the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the MOXI Science Museum and the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf, which celebrates its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary in 2022.

Historic Casa del Herrero

The backyard of Casa del HerreraThe yard of Casa del Herrera — Photo courtesy of Wendy O’Dea

Built in 1925 for businessman and inventor George Fox Steedman, this Spanish Colonial residence with Moorish influences is now a historic landmark and is likely one of the finest remaining examples of structure for which Santa Barbara is understood.

Designed by George Washington Smith, the home stays now because it was when the household lived in it, furnished with one-of-a-kind antiquities curated by architectural historian Arthur Byne (who additionally furnished Hearst Castle, by the best way). The Casa is closed to the general public besides throughout docent-led excursions which may be booked in superior on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

Local polo matches

If you realize something about Prince Harry, then you definitely’re most likely conscious that he’s an avid polo participant. Since shifting to Montecito, Harry has been noticed enjoying with native polo golf equipment on the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, some of the prestigious equestrian venues within the U.S. The Club additionally gives occasions resembling Ladies Hat Day. Most matches happen on the weekend and tickets are required. They may be prearranged and bought on the membership’s website.

Shop Coast Village Road

Shopping for local produce on Coast Village RoadShopping for native produce on Coast Village Road — Photo courtesy of Blake Bronstad

Every upscale neighborhood has its share of boutiques, bars and bakeries, and in Montecito, they’re discovered on Coast Village Road, which runs adjoining to Pacific Coast Highway. There are a few notable cafés/bakeries (Bree’osh and Jeannine’s, to call a number of) and stylish clothes retailers resembling Johnny Was.

The Sussexes have been noticed frequenting quite a lot of these native companies, together with the Pierre Lafond Montecito Market and Lucky’s Steakhouse, the place they dined with composer David Foster and singer Katherine McPhee quickly after shifting to the neighborhood.

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